As you may have seen in recent news reports, political upheaval continues to plague Haiti as protesters rally in the streets of Port-au-Prince demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise. This is the fourth week of protests with no clear end in sight. Schools have been closed, roads in the capital city are eerily empty and normal supply chains have been interrupted.
Thankfully, at Maison Fortuné we are isolated from the protests and our kids are safe from any physical harm. Unfortunately, however, we are not immune from the effects of the political crisis that is currently wreaking havoc on the country.
Most pressing right now is the scarcity of fuel and the sky-rocketing costs food. The extreme shortage of gas has led to a reduced use of gas-powered generators on our campus, rationing of automobile use, and forced the MFO staff to return to using dirtier and less efficient charcoal to prepare our kids’ meals. Food shortages are also driving prices through the roof. At this time last year, a bag of rice could be purchased for $6–that same bag of rice is now $25! Similar increases are hitting beans and corn which are staples of our kids’ diets. We have seen food and resource scarcity before, but this current situation seems to be an extreme case and we need to prepare for a prolonged period of shortages.
The economic strains have been further exasperated by the fact the Haitian Department of Education was unable to provide the school subsidy it normally provides to help keep schools open. In years past, this subsidy helped us acquire books for our incoming primary school students. In order to open our school on time this year we had to make painful budget choices, taking funds from other non-immediate needs to cover the additional school expense.
The good news is that our Haitian staff is experienced. They have faced crisis before and they know how to make tough choices on a daily basis to best manage our limited resources, but they need your help!
In order to see our children safely through the current crisis we need to raise $50,000 immediately to offset the unexpected budgetary constraints. This money will ensure that we can continue to safely feed, clothe and educate the children at Maison Fortuné.
Over the years, there have been a few times when we’ve had to look to our donors to step up to the plate to help us deal with an unexpected crisis. Whether it be an earthquake, hurricane or flood, you have always managed to answer the call. We need you to answer the call again!
Please take a few moments now to donate what you can. Your help will ensure we can afford the supplies needed to keep the children in our care safe and secure. Help us show the MFO staff and children that they are not alone— we will weather this storm together!